Armenian Minister of Education Visits Peace Corps Volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 30, 2003 – Mr. Sergo Yeritsyan, Minister of Education, visited Peace Corps volunteers in the Armenian cities of Martuny and Vardenik on Sunday, October 26.

In Martuny, Minister Yeritsyan visited with volunteers who have organized a Youth Development Conference for over 20 ninth grade students in Martuny. Peace Corps volunteers serving in Sevan, Gavar, and Martuny worked with Armenian teachers and older students to organize the conference, which is designed to develop leadership skills among youth in the community.

In Vardenik, the Minister stopped by School #1 where a Peace Corps volunteer teaches English as a Foreign Language and organizes English clubs. Peace Corps volunteers from Tsovinar and Vardenis also participated in the visit.

The Peace Corps collaborates closely with the Ministry of Education to enhance the quality of English language instruction in Armenia. Currently, there are 84 Volunteers working in four sectors: Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL); Business Education and Community Development; Community Health Educational; and Environmental Education.

Since 1992, the Peace Corps has established work sites for 388 volunteers in the areas of business education, community development, English education, and community health education. Volunteers work with over 20 communities across Armenia to develop the institutional capacity of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government leaders to support the small business sector. Volunteers also work to develop grass-roots community projects, such as working with orphans and refugees to provide hygiene education, clothing distribution, and business skills training.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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